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American Shipper

Panalpina acquires Interfresh Airfreight Handling

The Basel, Switzerland-based international freight forwarder will acquire its second perishable logistics company this year as part of the company’s quest to expand its global perishables network, Panalpina said in a statement.

Panalpina has acquired two perishable logistics companies this year.

   Basel, Switzerland-based international freight forwarder Panalpina will acquire the Dutch company Interfresh Airfreight Handling as part of its quest to expand its global Perishables Network, the company announced.
   Just months after acquiring Kenya-based forwarder Air Connection, Panalpina will take over the customs clearance and last-mile distribution sector that Interfresh Airfrieght caters to, by importing perishables from Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa. 
   “By acquiring Interfresh we gain full control over the cool chain for one of the perishables industry’s most important trade lanes for flowers – from Nairobi to Amsterdam and beyond,” says Panalpina CEO Stefan Karlen. “It is also a logical transaction as the primary customer of Interfresh is Air Connection, the Kenya-based forwarder that we successfully acquired earlier this year.” 
   Panalpina will acquire Interfresh Airfreight Handling’s sister companies Fresh Cargo Connection and Dutch Cargo Connection as well, it announced. Interfresh Airfreight Handling offers its own fleet of vehicles, while Fresh Cargo Connection acts as a fiscal representative for customers and Dutch Cargo Connection provides services for other perishables such as fish, fruit, vegetables and mushrooms.
   Located at Schiphol Airport with a cold storage facility, the three companies handle around 20,000 tons of perishables air freight per year, said Panalpina. All three companies are fully owned by CEO and founder of Interfresh, Sonja Kauffman. 
   “In more than ten years we have built a solid and respected business and steadily grown our perishables volumes,” says Sonja Kauffman.“We are very proud of what we’ve achieved so far and now is the right time to secure further profitable growth, especially in the regions of Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Panalpina has the global network, tools and connections to help us achieve that.”
   Kauffman will join Panalpina as the new country head of Perishables for the Netherlands, the company stated.
   “The acquisition in the Netherlands is another significant step in building Panalpina’s global Perishables Network and offering complete end-to-end solutions on a global scale. It also exemplifies how we expand our presence and expertise in destination countries and at major transportation hubs for perishables,” said Karlen.
   The companies have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the deal.
   Looking ahead, under the umbrella of the Panalpina Perishables Network, the company aims to be a global supplier of perishables logistics by 2020, by offering customers in both origin and destination countries complete end-to-end solutions on a global scale.